11
   

The Horror of Hate Crimes

 
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 02:37 pm
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae wrote:

I will agree to disagree with you.
By giving up so easily you rob yourself from an opportunity of growth, but very well, if you wish.

Setanta wrote:

Evil is a subjective judgment, it does not exist independently of humans. However, for that very reason it is appropriate to apply the term to conscious acts of humans, or to their entire character in the case of any individual with a history of asocial or antisocial behavior.
That is true. It is, however, a label that carries with it much generalization, so I prefer to not use it.
Arella Mae
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 02:46 pm
@manored,
This is the part of "discussing" that I absolutely hate. I have a different view of it so of course I am the one that is missing an opportunity for growth?

I didn't give up anything. This isn't a contest. My opinion differs from yours. I choose to not argue about it. That's all it is.

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:27 pm
@manored,
Quote:
Pretty much any period of history previous to this was a state of permanent global war. This is the first time we can have big countries and small countries without the big countries immediatly seeking to attack and conquer the smaller ones.


What planet do you live on, Manored? Big countries have been consistently conquering small ones for centuries.

Note that the US and its suckups are in Iraq and Afghanistan.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:29 pm
@Arella Mae,
Was alcohol involved? Not an excuse but definitely a substance that could cloud the already wacky teenage brain.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:32 pm
@Arella Mae,
Arella Mae wrote:

This is the part of "discussing" that I absolutely hate. I have a different view of it so of course I am the one that is missing an opportunity for growth?

I didn't give up anything. This isn't a contest. My opinion differs from yours. I choose to not argue about it. That's all it is.


We both are. But why should you care about me losing an opportunity for growth? Thats why I didnt mention my side.

You gave up trying to reach an agreement, and thats what im talking about. Discussion forces us to re-think our ideas, to re-analyze what he had for certain, and possibly gain new insights and grow from it. Even if an agreement is never reached, its still good for both sides.
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:34 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Was alcohol involved? Not an excuse but definitely a substance that could cloud the already wacky teenage brain.


I don't know how much alcohol was involved but I know it was mentioned that they had been drinking.
0 Replies
 
manored
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:34 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

What planet do you live on, Manored? Big countries have been consistently conquering small ones for centuries.

Note that the US and its suckups are in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Not ALL of them =)
0 Replies
 
Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 03:39 pm
@manored,
manored wrote:

We both are. But why should you care about me losing an opportunity for growth? Thats why I didnt mention my side.

You gave up trying to reach an agreement, and thats what im talking about. Discussion forces us to re-think our ideas, to re-analyze what he had for certain, and possibly gain new insights and grow from it. Even if an agreement is never reached, its still good for both sides.


You do know that I'm 55 right? You probably have some clue that this isn't the first time I've had this discussion in my life? I am not a child and I know how I feel about this situation. I accept that you have a differing view of it. Now, why do I want to go back and forth with you on something I know I'm not going to change my mind about and I have doubts that you would either? We simply disagree on this issue.

Seriously manored, I'm so tired of the debating to the point that I get called ignorant, deluded, etc. I know this may sound really stupid but there are some people on A2K that I really have respect for and when they start doing that....................it hurts. Not the kind of growth I'm interested in.
manored
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 05:02 pm
@Arella Mae,
Its true that there is a point where further discussion becomes useless, but we were nowhere near it. Ah, well, if you are tired, nothing can be done about it.

Tiredness... you just made me understand humans better =)

Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Aug, 2011 05:44 pm
@manored,
I just see no sense in continuing to banter back and forth "I feel this way............you feel that way............... I can accept the way you feel and even understand up to a point why you feel that way and can walk away from the discussion knowing we both were able to state our feelings.
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2011 04:34 pm
@Arella Mae,
I personally don't like or use the term "evil" because I feel it generally has acquired too many metaphysical associations, in terms of the demonic, which aren't consistent with how I view things. But I have no problem with your use of the term, and I share your horror and revulsion at a crime like this one. Acts like this, or even the senseless and brutal murder of little Leiby Kletzky in Brooklyn, leave us searching for the appropriate terms to describe such monstrous acts of inhumanity. And, it is precisely because these acts elicit such strong emotional reactions in normal people, that descriptions that fail to capture the emotion seem inadequate.

So, I can understand why you felt that BillRM was being too detached and clinical in his reaction--draining these acts of their emotional impact reduces them to the ordinary, to the understandable, when, in fact, part of the horror of such acts is that such cold blooded brutality is not fully comprehensible to most emotionally compassionate and moral people. We wonder,"How could anyone do something that awful to someone else?". We cannot empathize with those who commit such acts because we value human life in instances where they have displayed not just indifference, but outright hatred and contempt for the existence of another person. Our emotional reactions to such acts are perfectly valid responses--they reflect our own moral compass. Don't feel you have to apologize or explain your emotions, Arella Mae, that's part of what makes you different than the person who commits such heinous acts.

I think BillRM is way off the mark by talking about "young warriors" and dragging in street gangs and comparing them to young marine units. Hate crimes, like this, have nothing in common with those things, or even the general aggressiveness or need to prove their manhood on the part of certain young men. Hate crimes are all about scapegoating--deciding that those of a different group are not only the cause of some social ill, they are also sub-human and not deserving of the treatment one accords to real human beings. So, those scapegoats can be ridiculed, beaten, and even killed, without shame or guilt about it because they are seen as less than fully human by those committing the acts. So, in my part of the country, there were groups of teens roaming around looking for Latinos to beat up, elsewhere, gays have been beaten up or killed, or a Jew has gotten beaten up or killed, and, in Mississippi, this 18 year old punk wanted to find "a nigger" to beat up and kill, just for the fun of it. Any "nigger" would have done, because the entire racial group was the scapegoat. And finding and killing this innocent black man was exhilarating for this punk--he bragged about it--it made him feel empowered, which was part of his motive for doing what he did. He went out on the hunt, he found his prey, and he killed it, with little awareness, let alone concern, that this was an innocent human being with emotions and a life--a life he deserved to have continue and this animal had no right to take.

I think we have an easier time understanding crimes of true passion. Even lynch mobs, and KKK groups on the warpath, generally convened in response to some triggering event--they didn't like what someone in a scapegoated group had done or said--they generally focused on specific people or in response to something specific, and passion and anger was generally operating at a high pitch. But, this recent hate crime in Mississippi, seems much more indifferent, much more devoid of emotion, much more cold-blooded--"let's go find a nigger to beat up"--no triggering event, no specific "nigger"--just a way to find some excitement when you are bored. That was the sort of thing that was going on in my area with the Latinos that a particular group of teens had scapegoated, and cruised around looking for, and beaten up--it was the way to kill an evening.

Unlike BillRM, I can't see that type of essentially dispassionate, random, hate crime as anywhere on the continuum of normal behavior, nor do I see it as a consequence of group influence. The handful of individuals who commit these acts/hate crimes as a group associate with each other precisely because they share these negative attitudes toward others, particularly toward others who are members of certain racial, or ethnic, or religious groups, or toward those of a certain sexual orientation. In addition, I think these small groups of haters are mainly comprised of losers, or misfits, or those who are in some way marginalized, and the scapegoating gives them someone they can look down on, or feel superior to. And I see all of it as reflecting serious psychopathology--not societal problems, but individual psychopathology.

I just read that the 18 year old in Mississippi is only 5 feet tall and weighs 130 pounds. Maybe his very short stature is a key to his feelings of inferiority, his need to denigrate others to pump himself up. And, behind the wheel of his truck, running over a black man, any black man, he certainly could feel like a big, powerful man, couldn't he?





Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2011 05:19 pm
@firefly,
Very well put! I agree with you 100%. There just is no real understanding something so horrible. Understanding it wouldn't take away the horror of it anyway.
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2011 07:50 pm
@Arella Mae,
Apparently the 18 year old who actually drove that truck over Anderson had a history of other troubling behaviors.
Quote:
Brian Richardson, the white pastor at Rankin County's Castlewoods Baptist Church, told reporters after the Anderson slaying that he had told police and school officials that his own son had been the victim of violent bullying by Dedmon for a period of two years, and that Dedmon and his friends frequently targeted people in the community with homophobic and racial slurs.

Most chillingly, Richardson said that he told police that it was "painfully clear that [Dedmon] was going to injure someone severely or possibly kill someone." Richardson also added that if Dedmon was not taken off the streets "it's going to happen again."

The "taken off the streets" part is important because, almost unbelievably, after being freed on a $50,000 dollar bond, Dedmon is now subject to house arrest under an $800,000 bond. In other words, he is not yet in prison despite being accused of taking part in a grotesque and premeditated racial assault that Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has called a hate crime.

Judge William Barnett, the Mississippi magistrate who decided that Dedmon, despite Brian Richardson's prescient previous warnings, posed no danger if sent back home from prison, also saw fit to reduce the charges against John Aaron Rice, also 18, the only other person charged in the case, from murder to simple assault. Rice is now free on $5,000 bond.

How can this be? How can more than half a dozen teenagers take part in such a fatal racist attack in a region and a nation with a history of racial violence and most of them just be allowed to walk away from it?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-deibert/what-james-craig-anderson_1_b_922733.html

I still think that this particular murder, particularly in light of this young man's alleged previous behaviors, is more reflective of his individual psychopathology than anything to do with Mississippi's past history of racial crimes, although the fact that Dedmon is free on bail is rather troubling particularly because of what that might be saying about Mississippi today. Don't they regard this teen as a danger to the community---without any apparent provocation, he beat and killed someone at random, simply because of the color of the man's skin?

I also came across this story about a racial incident in Wisconsin which I had not heard about before. This article attempts to equate the incident in Wisconsin with the murder in Mississippi. Even though both may have involved racial tensions, I see them as being quite different.
http://www.bet.com/news/national/2011/08/12/wisconsin-teen-arrested-for-hate-crime-and-city-blames-black-families.html

Racism, and racial tensions, and racial violence, are nothing new in America--and other places as well. But not all racial conflicts or acts of violence are hate crimes. And I think that in defining hate crimes, as a category, is where the progress we've made as a country is really reflected. As a society, we have rejected any notion that it is acceptable to target and commit a crime against any individual only because they are the member of a racial or ethnic group. Hate crime laws are meant to try to deter criminal behavior based mainly on hatred of a particular group. They are a protection of basic civil liberties--for everyone. We can't control people's attitudes, but we can try to control their behaviors--that's what laws are for. And hate crime laws are meant to impose stiffer sentences--and that's the only way society can register it's outrage and strong dissaproval of the sort of crime that took place in Mississippi. And I sure hope that Mississippi shows just how serious they are about making sure these crimes are prosecuted to the max.




0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  3  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2011 10:24 pm
Ron Paul is correct that hate crime laws are an abomination. I also believe that the Supremes should have tossed them for being unconstitutional.

By Ron Paul
Quote:
Last week, the House of Representatives acted with disdain for the Constitution and individual liberty by passing HR 1592, a bill creating new federal programs to combat so-called “hate crimes.” The legislation defines a hate crime as an act of violence committed against an individual because of the victim's race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. Federal hate crime laws violate the Tenth Amendment's limitations on federal power. Hate crime laws may also violate the First Amendment guaranteed freedom of speech and religion by criminalizing speech federal bureaucrats define as “hateful.”

There is no evidence that local governments are failing to apprehend and prosecute criminals motivated by prejudice, in comparison to the apprehension and conviction rates of other crimes. Therefore, new hate crime laws will not significantly reduce crime. Instead of increasing the effectiveness of law enforcement, hate crime laws undermine equal justice under the law by requiring law enforcement and judicial system officers to give priority to investigating and prosecuting hate crimes. Of course, all decent people should condemn criminal acts motivated by prejudice. But why should an assault victim be treated by the legal system as a second-class citizen because his assailant was motivated by greed instead of hate?
.
.
.
Hate crime laws not only violate the First Amendment, they also violate the Tenth Amendment. Under the United States Constitution, there are only three federal crimes: piracy, treason, and counterfeiting. All other criminal matters are left to the individual states. Any federal legislation dealing with criminal matters not related to these three issues usurps state authority over criminal law and takes a step toward turning the states into mere administrative units of the federal government.

Because federal hate crime laws criminalize thoughts, they are incompatible with a free society. .

http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul385.html

At the end of the day it is violation of rights that matters, the degree of transgression, we should be ashamed of ourselves for getting bogged down in the prejudice and the guessing about motivations that is embodied in hate crime law. The existence of these laws is more proof, as if any was needed, that the American "justice" system is in big trouble.
firefly
 
  2  
Reply Fri 12 Aug, 2011 11:36 pm
@hawkeye10,
In the case we have been discussing, the teens have not been charged with a hate crime under federal law. Deryl Dedmon, 18, is charged with murder and John Aaron Rice, 18, is charged with aggravated assault. The case will be presented to a grand jury in the fall.
So far, this is being handled under state law. The family of the victim may want it prosecuted as a hate crime. It can also be prosecuted as a bias-crime at the state level.
Quote:
45 states and the District of Columbia have statutes criminalizing various types of bias-motivated violence or intimidation (the exceptions are AR, GA, whose hate crime statute was struck down by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2004, IN, SC, and WY). Each of these statutes covers bias on the basis of race, religion, and ethnicity; 32 cover disability; 31 of them cover sexual orientation; 28 cover gender; 13 cover age; 13 cover transgender/gender-identity; 5 cover political affiliation. and 3 along with Washington, D.C. cover homelessness.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hate_crime_laws_in_the_United_States#cite_note-homeless-4


I do not agree with Ron Paul. It is still the acts which are criminalized and not speech. And I think there should be additional penalties for crimes which are bias-related.
Quote:
At the end of the day it is violation of rights that matters, the degree of transgression...

Anderson's rights could not have been more violated--he was murdered. The degree of transgression, on the part of those who commited this act could not have been greater.

I think that one can be tried under state laws for murder or assault, and then tried under federal hate crime laws if a conviction is not obtained under state law. Or the person can also be tried for a bias-crime at the state level. Having the federal laws does not take power away from the states. The federal laws serve as a way of increasing the probability and severity of punishment for crimes motivated only by prejudice--they also establish a uniform federal standard for such crimes.
Quote:
we should be ashamed of ourselves for getting bogged down in the prejudice and the guessing about motivations that is embodied in hate crime law

You don't "guess" at the motivation in such cases, the motive is part of what must be proved at trial.
In the Mississippi case, for instance, Dedmon boasted of having "killed a nigger" after the murder, and there are additional witnesses who described the racial motivations for both the assault and the murder. If tried only under state law, Dedmon can be convicted of murder without having to prove the racial motive--you simply have to establish that he commited the act of murder. Under the federal hate crime laws, or the state bias-crime laws, the motive for the act must also be proved.

As a society, what we should be "ashamed of ourselves for" is the amount and ferosity of the prejudice which still exists, and which is expressed in a criminal manner.







hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2011 12:53 am
@firefly,
Quote:
And I think there should be additional penalties for crimes which are bias-related.
And I think that the streets should be paved with gold and that every woman should know how to ****, but that does not mean that I get it. Lucky for you the Supreme Court tends to be worthless at protecting the American citizen from either our government or from exploitation at the hands of the corporate class,....that it does not know the Constitution from Hustler Magazine (an exaggeration to be sure, but not by much).
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2011 04:16 am
@hawkeye10,
Give a blank check to government prosecutors such as hate crimes laws and that check will be misused.
--------------------------------------------
Black student faces hate crime charge

November 16, 2006

SEYMOUR, Conn. --A black student at Seymour High School is facing a hate crime charge for writing "whites only" on a wall near a water fountain.

Police said the 17-year-old senior was arrested Wednesday and charged with breach of peace for a separate incident at the high school.

Police said that while the student was in custody, he confessed to writing the message, which was found during the homecoming dance on Saturday.

Police will apply for an arrest warrant for a separate charge of breach of peace and possible other charges, including vandalism and bigotry, Capt. Paul Beres said.

Under Connecticut law, a person is guilty of third-degree bigotry when they, with the intent to intimidate or harass because of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, damage or deface property or threaten by word or act.

<snip>

manored
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2011 11:04 am
@firefly,
firefly wrote:

And I think there should be additional penalties for crimes which are bias-related.
Are you serious here?

Do you think a person who kills someone because of the color of their skin should be arrested for longer than a person who kills someone because its a easy way to make money?
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2011 11:12 am
@BillRM,
Quote:
Give a blank check to government prosecutors such as hate crimes laws and that check will be misused

But, the 5 year old article you posted shows no misuse of hate crime laws. In fact, it notes that bigotry was only a possible charge against this student. This is your idea of a misuse of a law? Rolling Eyes

Who says the government has a "blank check"? The crime must fit the wording of the law, and it must be proved to a jury's satisfaction--including the bias related motivation for the crime.
Quote:
Under Connecticut law, a person is guilty of third-degree bigotry when they, with the intent to intimidate or harass because of race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, damage or deface property or threaten by word or act.

Isn't it an obligation of government to protect the civil and human rights of it's citizens, particularly those in minority groups, who might be targets of harassment and intimidation--not to mention assault and murder--simply because of their race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity?
Bias-related crimes can have an intimating effect on all members of a particular group within the community, beyond the specific members of that group targeted by a particular criminal act. Prosecution of such crimes helps to protect the peace and well being of all members of that scapegoated group by sending a message that this type of prejudicial criminal behavior will not be tolerated.

In the Mississippi case, if Anderson was attacked and killed at random, only because he was black, how would you view the crime? Would you not see fit to impose an additional bias-crime charge, in addition to murder, because of the prejudicial nature of the crime?



firefly
 
  2  
Reply Sat 13 Aug, 2011 11:30 am
@manored,
Quote:

Do you think a person who kills someone because of the color of their skin should be arrested for longer than a person who kills someone because its a easy way to make money?

I sure do.

When the KKK lynched someone, the act was also intended to spread fear and intimidation throughout the entire black community. Bias-related crimes are based on identity factors, and they are generally directed at all members of a particular group, for purposes of intimidation. When a swastika is painted on the outside of a synagogue, that is not just an act of vandalism as would be the case if a graffiti artist spray painted his initials--it is an act of harassment of a religious/ethnic group in addition to vandalism.

Motivation for a crime, the intention of the crime, increases the potential sentence for a number of different crimes, including the killing of a human being, and there is no reason why bias should not be considered an additional aggravating factor in charging and sentencing.
 

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